Welcome to Part 2 of my Wedding Checklist series. If you haven't read Part 1 you can view it here. As you can gather from the title this post covers what to consider 12 - 18 months before your wedding day. By now you will have your date and some of the big bits sorted so now we are going to go into a little bit more depth and think about how your big day will go.
1. Choose Your Wedding Party
Now the time has come to decide who is up for the key roles on your wedding day. Choose wisely.
When you begin to think about the ladies you will choose to be your maids it can be quite easy to get carried away when you start thinking about friends from all areas of your life, old and new, and before you know it you have over 20 potential candidates (think of the closing scene in the movie 27 Dresses). Bear in mind that the more bridesmaids you have the more expensive it will be as traditionally the bride buys the gowns etc. Obviously there can be room for manoeuvre on this and every bride will have a number that works for them. Consider whether you want just friends or your sister, sister-in-law-to-be, cousins etc.
Your maid of honour plays an important role as she will be your right hand man on the day ready to jump in when you need her. Her two key character traits are that she’s organised and she knows you inside out. This lady will be by your side through the thick and thin of wedding planning so choose someone who would be delighted to put in the work and will make the most of all the girly times ahead!
I’ve chosen my oldest friend Stephanie as my maid of honour and my sister Cheryl and Paul’s sister Jade as my bridesmaids. There are some other ladies I would love to have as bridesmaids but my budget allows for three so that’s what I’m going with.
Now for your fiancé’s right hand man. Invite your fellow to read this section (or read it yourself and tell him what to do… that would be my approach haha!)
The best man plays a key role in the operation of your wedding day so choose someone who is up for the task. Again, like with the maid of honour, think of someone who knows you really well. Not only will be able to write a more meaningful speech but he’ll be by your side to help settle any last-minute nerves you may have. Besides this his duties will include:
ü Arranging the stag (probably the one he’s most looking forward to) and ensuring the groom is returned in the same state his bride-to-be sent him out in
ü Being there with the groom on the morning of the wedding for moral support
ü Looking after the rings until the big moment at the ceremony (you may also consider having a separate ring-bearer?)
ü Co-ordinating the ushers and handing out Orders of Service before the ceremony
A brother or old friend typically fits the bill for this role. Now’s the time to ask him if he would do the honours. OK there chap, that’s you done. Now pass us back to your lovely lady please.
Your ushers are your “bouncers” for the ceremony, as my brother so eloquently put it when I asked him to be one of mine. Their main role is to point guests in the right direction at the ceremony and reception. The best man will also recruit them to hand out Orders of Service. Ideal candidates are friendly cheeky chappies happy to chat to your guests and make them feel welcome. The size of your wedding will determine the number of ushers but I think about 2 – 4 should suffice.
Flower Girls & Pageboys
You may decide to have flower girls and/or pageboys as part of your bridal party. There’s pretty much nothing cuter than little girls in pretty princess dresses and little boys looking like cut down men in their little kilts or suits. They can also make great ring bearers to walk down the aisle. Just make sure they are up to the task!
2. Research photographers, entertainment, florists, dresses, cakes etc…
This may seem like a lot but the sooner you start researching the easier it will be for you. Giving yourself plenty of time will allow you to research all of your options and choose the suppliers who are right for you. Plus you’d be surprised how quickly they book up.
The best way to find suppliers is to get your butt to a few wedding fairs and actually chat to these people. You get a feel for who they are, what they offer and whether you actually want them involved in your big day much better than you would from a website. You can read my review of a recent wedding fair at Duck Bay on Loch Lomond here.
3. Think About Theme
While doing your research get your hands on some wedding magazines, blogs or a pinterest account for inspiration on your theme. This can be anything from a simple colour scheme to an intricate attention to detail Willy Wonka themed wedding with an actual chocolate river (one of my original ideas but alas I don’t see us having room for a chocolate river…gutted).
You may change your mind as the planning goes on but you’ll find the other planning steps easier if you have an idea of what your big day will look like.
4. Start Your Fitness, Diet and Beauty Regime
Every bride wants to look her very best on her wedding day. Start thinking about the steps you want to take to be the best version of yourself. You might think about upping your fitness so you can boogy the night away right through to the wee hours without missing a beat. Adopting a healthy diet will work wonders for your energy, skin, hair, all round mojo and not to mention your waistline. Start now and get more fruits and veggies in you and less processed rubbish to feel the difference.
We can all be lazy sometimes when it comes to taking off our make-up at night (guilty!) but keeping up with a good skin care routine will work wonders for those close-up photos on your big day. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Just find the products that work for you and stick with them.
The Lady Said Yes will feature product reviews from time to time so be sure to check them out!
1. Start booking!
Like I said, a lot of suppliers’ calendars will fill up fast so when you find someone you like, book them. It can be scary to actually make a booking and hand over a deposit but if you love the first supplier you meet then go for it. Who’s to say there actually is something better out there? I’m not saying rush into things but if it seems like a good match then go for it.
I hope you found this helpful. Let me know in the comments below how you’re getting on with your wedding plans. I’d love to hear about it!